It’s a crass, but true, axiom: death is a good career move.
“Back To Black,” Amy Winehouse’s Grammy-winning, second-album, will likely return to the Billboard 200 top 20 this week, based on sales following her July 23 death.
Her sophomore set moved up to 25,000 copies, largely between her death and the close of this week’s chart at midnight Sunday, according to Billboard. Last week, the album sold slightly more than 1,000 copies. Sales of the album similarly spiked in the U.K., with the album reentering the chart at No. 59. The British chart closed at midnight on Saturday.
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“Back to Black,” which has sold 2.3 million copies in the U.S. since its 2007 release, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in March 2008 following Winehouse’s five Grammy wins in February 2008.
Additionally, individual downloads of a number of Winehouse songs are soaring. “Rehab” sold around 30,000 copies before the chart’s close on Sunday, according to Billboard, while “You Know I’m No Good” moved close to 15,000 copies, “Back to Black” and “Valerie” approximately 10,000 each, and “Tears Dry On Their Around” as high as 5,000. Total digital downloads are up 1,800% over the previous week.
While consumers are remembering Winehouse by purchasing her music, musicians and actors continue to pay tribute.
On Sunday, Russell Brand, a recovering addict, posted a moving tribute to Winehouse, whom he knew, on his website. It addressed addiction, but also his reaction to the first time he saw her live, after initially discounting her:
“I heard the rolling, wondrous resonance of a female vocal. Entering the space I saw Amy on stage with [Paul] Weller and his band; and then the awe. The awe that envelops when witnessing a genius. From her oddly dainty presence that voice, a voice that seemed not to come from her but from somewhere beyond even Billie and Ella, from the font of all greatness. A voice that was filled with such power and pain that it was at once entirely human yet laced with the divine. My ears, my mouth, my heart and mind all instantly opened. Winehouse. Winehouse? Winehouse!”
Similarly, Adele took to her website to blog about Winehouse and how she helped pave the way for a new flight of British females:
It came easy to her and that’s why we all loved her so much. we believed every word she wrote, and it would sink in deep when she sang them. Amy paved the way for artists like me and made people excited about british music again whilst being fearlessly hilarious and blase about the whole thing. i don’t think she ever realised just how brilliant she was and how important she is, but that just makes her even more charming.
M.I.A. saluted Winehouse musically by releasing the demo of a song called “27.” The title refers to the staggering number of artists who have died at that age, including Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Him Morrison and Janis Joplin. The song was apparently recorded last year and is about a friend who committed suicide, according to numerous reports. However, today, the Sri Lankan artist tweeted “R.I.P. A.M.Y.” today with a link to the track.
The hypnotic, electronic unfinished tune, includes the lyrics, “But you left me for nothin’/When I left, you befriended a rope and I found you both were hangin’.”